First of all, i want to apologize for the long read, but i gotta type it all out. Been a hard hunt for this joker and you may remember me mentioning him a couple weeks ago. Hunted him several times in the first location, but just couldnt get em to commit. (And after the name thread, we named this one Mr. Fit, cause he gave us plenty of them) Well, im happy to say he may have won a few battles, but we won the war!
The first part of our succsess was the fact that the hens are nesting and moved from the larger hardwoods to some smaller wood lots with thicker cover and the toms have followed. So, having said that, i did some scouting a few days before my mother arrived and roosted not only Mr. Fit, but another tom and his jake companion in a 10 acre woods. Sounds fine and dandy right? Not so much. Seeing as he shyed away from Pretty Boy last time i left him in the truck and only put out the hens. Well, they flew out of the tree and were in the field shortly after 6 am. I called to him and he would display and gobble, but only came 20 or so yards in my direction. As usual, he was stubborn and wanted the hens to come to him. Well, when they didnt he, his side kick and the other jake headed for another small woodlot about a 1/4 west and on the opposite side of the road as we were on instead of sticking to his regiment. So, we were patient and gave them some time to go do their thing and catch them on the return. So, i called every 15 minutes or so and within about an 45 minutes or so i see a tail fan over the rise in the field. So, i kneel, and take a look with the binos and here they come. So, Moms ready and i begin to call. They all came running, Mr. Fit in half strut. He'd run stop, gobble and display. They covered the ground very quickly and once they got to about the 65 yd mark they put on the breaks and displayed. They strutted back and forth gobbling, but wouldnt come any closer. After about 10 minutes a hen came outta the fence row to the north and fed down the field to the west away from us. Well there went the other tom following here. This fence row leads to another small woodlot thats west of us. And out of the corner of that wood lot comes somemore hens headed back to the wood lot on the opposite side of the road and to the west of where im hunting. Well, guess where Mr. Fit and his jake buddy headed...They went on a dead run to them and followed them around the wheat field and eventually into the same woods theyd went earlier in the day. After that Mom's schedule didnt allow her to hunt until the following weekend and then she'd be on vacation for a week.
It was real late when we got down there on Friday and didnt have any luck putting any birds to bed so we just headed back to where we hunted the last outting, but a bit closer to where they flew down. Unfortunatley they werent roosted in our woods, but on the property acrossed the road. They gobbled like crazy all morning long. Id do a calling sequence every 15-20 minutes or so. Just some soft yelps with some clucks and purrs. Eventually a hen came out, fed down the road and came to our woods. Not long after a bearded hen followed. A short while later the first hen came out of the woods and fed around my hen deke and pretty boy before heading north to our corn stubble. Its 8:20 am when she leaves the decoys. About 20 minutes later Mr. Fit comes outta the woodlot down the road and struts right down the middle of the dirt road. I call to him and he comes our way, then turns and struts back to the woods. I feared he was going to head back in so i did some aggressive cutting and yelping and finished with a double gobble with my diaphram call. He gobbled, fanned out and began to head down the road just like the 2 hens prior. Suddenly all i can see is wings flapping and turkeys coming acrossed the ditch to join him. Turned out to be the jake, the other tom and like 5 or 6 hens. The Toms and jakes fought with each other just like that had a couple weeks prior when we first started hunting this bird. So, wanting a piece of the action i got aggressive with my calling again cutting and yelping with both my pot call and diaphram and finished with a gobble yet again. After a few series of that i had the hens attention and they ran all the way down the road to the corner of our woods with all three gobblers in tow. I continued to call and as soon as they seen pretty boy they all came running. A hen lead the way followed by a jake, the smaller tom and then Mr. Fit. Mr. Fit quickly caught up and when he did the other tom stopped and the hen and jake came along with him, but he now lead the way. I could tell by his pace and his aggressive posture that he was looking for a fight. He was in full strut and quickly walked right passed my hen decoy and right up to pretty boy. When he was within about 2 or 3 feet of pretty boy i had Mom lay the
down and down he went. We finally got him!!!!!!
Too bad i didnt have a permit and a gun as i coulda folded the other tom as he stood there at 30 yds watching Mr. Fit take his dirt nap. After they took off we went out and gathered him up.
That old boy like to fight and it finally got him into trouble. His right wing had several busted wing feathers since we had last seen him. Im sure the other gobblers in the area are happy he's not around anymore to boss em around.
Anyhow, he had a 10" beard and 1 1/16" spurs. Im not sure on weight as i didnt weigh him officially, but he was a pretty heavy bird. Id say all of 20#.
Unfortunately we had some sort of issue with our digital camera and all but one of the pics of him got deleted. And to my dismay, my Mother isnt in the pic. Its just old Mr. Fit. So, please forgive me on the poor pic, but here he is along with a few pics from one of the days we hunted him a week prior.
Him and the jake being stubborn and giving me fits
He moved from this location to a small woodlot about 3/8 of a mile south of there with his hens(5th bird from the right)
And finally we got him